Quail Feed: What do baby quails eat (Guide to the right diet)

John Boyd

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Baby quails require special care and management to stay in good condition. If you are a beginner, you may be confused about what do baby quails eat? Since they are tiny birds, they need little food to grow. But remember that a small amount of food must be designed to fill the baby quail’s proper diet.

We suggest you know the pattern of feed that should supply in different ages of baby quails. Also, make a routine of feeding quails to manage the total care easily. Proper diet is not only a matter to raise a baby quail. You have to take care of the overall growing atmosphere to raise a baby quail successfully. So let drive on those topics below-

Provide feed depending on raising purposes

feed depending on raising purposes

First of all, you need to decide why you want to raise baby quails? For your hobby, getting an egg or for fresh meat? Because baby quail needs a different diet depending on the purpose of raising like; eggs, meat, breeding, gaming or hobbies. Different intentions require different feeds to provide at different age stages. Starter, Developer, Layer and Finisher are these feed types that should provide in various age stages. Belows are the purposes of raising:

For meat:

If you want to raise your quail for selling or slaughtering for meat, then start baby bobwhite quail food with starter mix from soon after hatching until six weeks of age. After 6 weeks, change the feed to a finisher mix and continue it till fully grown for meat. The finisher feed has high fibre that ensures maintaining a good growth of the baby bobwhite quail

For fight or game:

Quails are naturally curious birds. Some people raise them for gaming or hunting purpose. If you aim for these purposes, then start the baby quails feed with a starter mix and continue until six weeks. After six weeks, convert starter to a developer mix and continue till 16 weeks of age. This diet feed is also suited for pet purposes.

For breeding or eggs:

If you intend to raise baby quails for breeding or egg production, you need to pay special attention to their infant stage feed. Otherwise, their eggs may turn out too weak or frail if you don’t provide proper feed. For this reason, from hatching to six weeks of age, provide starter mix. Then from six weeks to twenty weeks, give the developer mix. Lastly, from 20 weeks and older, continue with layer mix. This diet can ensure a healthy quail with healthy eggs.

Following essential feeding management to raise baby quails

what do baby quails eat

For full-fledged production, you need to take special care of baby quails’ day-to-day feeding routine. Below are some important steps that you should maintain. 

Types of feed and nutrition:

We suggest you start the baby quails first feed with a game birds starter mix for the first few months. Baby quail likes to take grain crushes like corn, wheat, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, etc.

These types of starter mix generally include more protein than regular feeds that help them to grow faster. They require 20% to 35% of the protein in their feed and consume 25% of feed depending on their body weight. The feed shouldn’t be in pellet form cause pellets are hard to swallow for baby quails. So try to give those feeds which are in the form of crumbles.

After a few months, you can gradually change over to a game birds grower mix. Also include different types of green leaves in their diet as they grow. Baby quails don’t need much time to grow if you provide feed carefully. 

Provide sufficient clean water:

Baby quail’s eating habits are different. They drink clean water more than other gaming birds or chickens. So water is the basic requirement in a quail feeding manner. In the wintertime, you should always provide warm, clean water for your baby quails to drink. To kill the parasites, you can mix one spoon of apple cider vinegar with the water.

Proper feeding and watering equipment:

As baby quails drink water often, don’t give an open pot to drink water; otherwise, they may drown in water. Try to provide water in a water container with small openings to avoid accidents. Also, give small feeding pots; otherwise, they will use them as a toilet or tub.

Furthermore, quail feeding material should have enough space for the quail to eat conveniently without fighting for food. Also, baby quails are untidy eaters, so it is wise keeping the feed in a storehouse with “anti-spill fingers.”

Clean feeding equipment: 

Baby quails are too sensitive. They easily get colds and infections. So a clean environment is essential to growing baby quails.

Make sure to keep the feeding area dry, away from rainfall, wind and sunlight. The wet and dumpy area is the main enemy of growing baby quail. It can grow mould and infections that can kill baby quail. Also, wash the feeding equipment every one or two days and replace the water every day to reduce bacterial growth. Try to clean the area two times a week with a non-toxic disinfectant.

Storing the feed:

Always try to store the baby quail’s food correctly; otherwise, it can get mouldy, which is dangerous for them. Also, attempt to finish the feed before it expires. Usually, most of the feed expires two to three weeks after the manufacturing date if the storing place is humid and hot. Moreover, store the food in a dry and hard container to not contaminate rats and insects.

Introducing the supplemental food:

Baby quail is the natural habitat of questing its own food. So it’s good to introduce them to different herbs and leaves. Also, you can offer different fruits and vegetables like blackberry, snowberry, Oregon grapes, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, etc. Moreover, they like to take different nuts and seeds.

Eating etiquette and taming:

Baby quail is a messy eater, so teaching them how to eat and drink is important for daily management. When you get time, show them how to dip their beaks into the bowl to drink water and feed. If their mommy quail is with them, then she will teach it. 

Also, if you want to tame and bond with them, you need a lot of time and patience. To start taming, you need to take the feed in both of your hands and place the baby quail over the feed in your hand; that’s how they will know you, and you can successfully tame them. But remember to clean your hand before touching or handling the baby quail

Feeding environment:

Baby quails are scared of loud noises, hushed tones and rush movements. By these sounds, they think that there is a predator nearby. So they try to hide and stop eating for a long time. So avoid placing your baby quail in a place with lots of noise.

Baby quail are more comfortable in the calmer atmosphere and can eat properly. Moreover, you should definitely keep dogs and cats away from the same room as predators to small quail chicks.

Toxic food that should avoid

Baby quails are a very sophisticated bird. Different types of processed food and plants can be harmful to them. Knowing the list of harmful food is wise before raising them. Harmful food includes salty foods, grape seeds, chocolate, caffeine, raw potatoes, avocado, parsley, leeks, most citrus fruits, onions, bulb garlic, etc.

If you keep them in the garden area, they can easily reach any of the plants from your garden, which can be dangerous for them and the garden. On the other hand, if you give the baby quail too much starch or seeds, they will tend to ignore the higher protein pellet, which is important for their growth.

Have Any Questions?

I get several questions below and try to give my best answer based on my baby quail-raising knowledge from lots of confusions, dos, and don’t.

How long can baby quail go without food?

Baby quail can’t survive a day without food and a warm environment as they are more sensitive birds than others. Also, they need crushed food because pellets are difficult for them to swallow. 

What fruit and vegetables can quail eat?

Quail likes to explore a variety of tastes in nature. Few fruits like blackberry, Oregon grapes, salad, snowberry etc. and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, etc., are their favourite supplement feed that they can eat.

Can a baby quail eat chick starter?

Yes, you can give your baby quail chick starter at the beginning. But it’s wise to give a game bird starter because it contains 21% more protein than a normal chick starter.

Can I feed quail chicken feed?

No, it’s not a wise idea to give quail chicken feed because quail needs 18-30% protein which is higher than chicken. So It’s ideal to give quail gaming bird’s mix feed for their absolute growth.

Do quails eat rice?

Quail can eat uncooked and cooked rice. But rice lacks protein and nutrients that can easily fill their stomach. It’s basically empty calories. It makes quails stomach bloating and disturbs their diet. So I suggest not to give rice to your quail.

What do California quail eat?

California quail likes to eat seeds and different types of plants on their availability. They also like to eat seasonal fresh crops like legumes, acorns, berries, flowers, bulbs, and insects. They never go empty because of their flexible eating habit. 

What is the best food for quail?

As quail is a gaming bird and they love to find their own food, I think any feed that naturally can be found in the environment is the best food for quail. They taste nearly everything like other household poultry birds including grains, seeds, vegetables, insects and commercial mix feed.

Do baby quail need water?

Yes, water is essential in the baby quails feeding routine. Simply a few ounces of water for each baby quail is required per day, but remember to keep it clean. Also, make sure that they don’t fall asleep in the water because they can sink in it. So give them to drink water in a suitable water container.

Closing Thoughts

Proper feeding is important from the infant stage of quail to get higher production of eggs or meat. If you are still confused about what do baby quails eat? I suggest you start with 1 or 2 pairs of baby quails first, then increase the number of quails. 

It is good to know the feeding pattern and a balanced diet before starting raising baby quails. Overall, it often depends on several factors like the age of quail’s, raising purpose, and most significantly, your feeding facilities.

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